Wave height and wind direction from the HF coastal ocean surface radar

Heron, Malcolm L., and Prytz, Arnstein (2002) Wave height and wind direction from the HF coastal ocean surface radar. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 28 (3). pp. 385-393.

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The biggest difficulty in extracting wind direction from high-frequency (HF) backscatter ground-wave radar data is in not knowing the fundamental shape of the directional spreading function at the Bragg wavelength for the sea-surface gravity waves. In this paper we present data from a deployment of the HF coastal ocean surface radar (COSRAD) which samples the same patch of water from a range of different angles, allowing us to determine the shape of the spectral spreading function for the Bragg resonant gravity waves. The resulting evaluation of wind direction compares favourably with wind-vane measurements in the vicinity. A routine method for extracting root mean square (rms) wave heights from HF backscatter ground-wave radar spectra has been developed based on the theoretical work of D.E. Barrick. This method is reviewed in the paper and a "best practice" procedure is described for routine production of rms wave heights. Results are shown for a recent deployment of the COSRAD HF radar near Cairns in the Great Barrier Reef Region of northeast Australia. The observed rms wave heights agree reasonably well with those given by the JONSWAP model over the same range of wind speeds. A method for obtaining a measure of the spreading of the directional wave spectrum has been developed. Over the period of observation, the wind speeds varied between 2 and 11 m/s, and the S values for the M.S. Longuet-Higgins et al. spreading function were in the range 1.94 ± 0.62. These S values are less than those given by the JONSWAP model, especially at low wind speeds. A sensitivity study was carried out on the spread of wind directions which would arise from this variability in the wave directional spreading function. For single measurements, the error in wind direction is ±25°, but with spectral averaging over time and space the HF radar errors in wind directions are reduced to about ±10°.

Item ID: 27428
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1712-7971
Keywords: HF radar, wave height, wind direction
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2013 04:08
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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